Posts Tagged ‘pineapple’

Pina Colada Cake

(Pardon the horrendous picture. This is actually the only decent shot I got and I am terrible at taking pictures in restaurants!)

I’m currently in China getting chubby on dumplings and hand-pulled noodles but figured I’d leave something sweet for you to munch on while I’m gone!

I made this cake as a (surprise, surprise) last-minute decision for a friend’s birthday (originally someone else volunteered but ended up not having enough time). I simplified it by baking it in a disposable cake pan, making a whipped topping rather than buttercream, and just slathering on toppings rather than slicing out layers etc. Actually, I was under some severe time constraints so we drove all the way to the restaurant with separate components and a still-too-warm cake and I threw it all together in Boy’s trunk. Thankfully, it came together perfectly and went well with the Cuban dinner we attended for the celebrant. It was a huge hit (some even said it was better than this ice cream cake). The flavors melded and the cake was a light ending to our meal. Each individual component was full of flavor and together there could be nothing more delicious.

Pina Colada Cake
adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes

Ingredients
For Brown Sugar Cake:

  • 3 3/4 c cake flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For Pineapple Topping:

  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean

For Coconut Whipped Topping

  • 2 c heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 c confectioner’s sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 c sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F.

For filling: Combine pineapple, sugar, lemon juice, and the scraped vanilla seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly while the sugar dissolves, 2-3 minutes. Then increase the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and almost jam-like. Cool completely before using.

For cake: Butter a 9×13″ cake pan (or 3 9″ round cake pans). If you use the 9×13″ pan, you will have extra batter for cupcakes or a 9″ round cake.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl attached to an electric mixer. Whisk gently to combine. Add brown sugar, butter, and 1 1/2 c buttermilk and blend on low speed. Once incorporated, beat on medium 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with remaining 1/4 buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between, just until combined. Pour 2/3 of the cake batter (you can eyeball) into the prepared cake pan, saving the rest for cupcakes or a smaller cake. (Or divide among the 3 9″ round cake pans evenly.) Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (for smaller pans, adjust time accordingly). Cool completely before topping.

For whipped topping: Whip heavy cream until soft peak stage. Add confectioner’s sugar and coconut extract and continue beating until stiff peaks. Taste and add sugar/extract as needed for your coconut loving taste.

For assembly: Spread pineapple topping over cooled cake (despite not using all the cake batter in my 9×13″ cake, I still used all of the topping – it’s yummy!). Then spread shredded coconut, followed by the whipped topping. Serve and enjoy!

I wish I had more pictures but alas it was not my camera’s night.

Enjoy your week everyone!

Pig Cake

I have been ridiculously MIA from blogging this past week. As we approach the end of an era (my formal education years), it’s getting quite hectic and I’m trying desperately to spend as much time with my family and friends as possible before my job (JOB! WOOHOO!) starts in June and I move away (not far away but away) and spend sleepless nights at the hospital.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Match Day, or the day all graduating medical students across the country find out where they’ll be working this coming year, was this past Thursday. It was nerve wracking, anxiety inducing, makes-you-need-to-pee-and-want-to-vomit-all-at-the-same-time, and all around torture. But we all got through it. I got my number 2 choice in New York if you’re all wondering. I’m quite happy. Boy is too (he also got his number 2, also in New York, but different institution).

To celebrate, I quickly whipped up this Pig Cake before we all went out for an evening of bad decisions. It was everything I wanted to be. Very few ingredients, meaning less time at the grocery store, whipped up in a matter of minutes, meaning more time hanging out, and tasted wonderfully. Also, it was a single layer cake, perfect for large crowds and for even less kitchen fuss. The cake itself was moist and light and just a bit tropical tasting with the addition of mandarin oranges. The topping was a pure dream. It, too, was light and fluffy with scrumptious chunks of pineapple. The whole cake was sweet but not too sweet and fit in perfectly for the joyous occasion. This will definitely be made again and again without hesitation. I don’t know why exactly it’s called Pig Cake (PW doesn’t either) but I can only surmise that it’s because it’s so incredibly delicious you can’t help but be a little piggy eating more and more!

Sorry there’s only one picture! I was too busy drinking champagne.

Pig Cake
adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

For cake:

  • 1 box Yellow Cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 14 oz can of mandarin oranges, drained, 1/2 c juice reserved
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For topping:

  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 4 oz Cool Whip
  • extra mandarin oranges for garnish, optional

Instructions
For cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan.

Using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, butter, reserved juice, eggs, and vanilla on medium-high (start out slow to prevent cake mix from flying everywhere) for 4 minutes. Add oranges and beat until they are broken up into small pieces. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool completely.

For topping: Mix together vanilla pudding mix and reserved juice. Add powdered sugar followed by the whipped topping, mixing to combine. Stir in pineapple. Spread on cooled cake and refrigerate several hours before serving. Serve with extra mandarin oranges if desired.

What’s your reason to celebrate this week?

Pina Colada Cupcakes

A change of pace.

It’s not always welcome but it’s often appreciated.

This past weekend Boy and I traveled to Washington DC to “escape” for a couple days. We had been planning the mini-trip for a month or so. I had been meticulous in picking out the best hotel we could afford and finding restaurant options and he had smiled and nodded as I blabbed on and on about all of it. We’ve done this a few times, gone away for a night or two to nearby cities and give ourselves the option to do nothing at all but also the chance to have a nice dinner at the very least. It’s always been a great experience. We catch up in a way. We leave our books behind for the most part (sitting on a bus for 4+ hours seems like a good time to study in theory but we usually end up playing Scrabble on my iTouch) and we mostly just enjoy the company. We don’t bicker per our usual state and we don’t stress. It’s a change of pace. It’s a reminder that we have other things in common besides spending more time in a hospital than we do at home and that we don’t need the excuse of being in the same school to know we can be good together. Sometimes you start to think you’re just together for the convenience of it all, you know?

This weekend was a bit hectic because we unknowingly squeezed it in between rough weeks at work. I was on call on Friday and got out around 7.30. For some reason we really wanted to see Robin Hood (two thumbs up, by the way) so I rushed to pack to make the 9.30ish showing (I live a good 30-45 minutes from the hospital in the first place and 20 minutes from the theater so that left me about 45 minutes to shower and pack), we got home past midnight and woke up at 6.00 the next morning to make our bus. And then after the fabulous weekend in DC, we got stuck in traffic on the way home Sunday night, hadn’t eaten all day, and ended up going to bed around midnight after stopping at the Rutgers grease trucks (can I get an AAAAAAAA-MEN?!) only to wake up at 6.00 the next morning for work.

Sound exhausting? It was. I don’t even think I’m caught up with sleep yet!

But it was perfect. Hit the spot. Made me feel refreshed (in our relationship. In life, I was a dead woman walking). It’s always nice to escape the familiar and explore what else is out there in the world. Even thought I’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial at least a dozen times, being there with a different person on a different day still gives me the same high.

These cupcakes are just as refreshing and high-giving. They take a LITTLE more time than other cupcakes because of the filling process but they’re well worth it. Every component has something pineapple and/or coconut so the flavors really come through. It’s exactly what I imagined such a cupcake to taste like if not better than I imagined. They’re a lovely change of pace from the traditional cupcake.

Pina Colada Cupcakes
adapted from iheartcuppycakes with frosting from Simply Recipes

Makes 24.

Ingredients
For pineapple & coconut cupcake

2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
16 oz crushed pineapple in juice, well drained, juice reserved
2/3 c of the reserved pineapple juice
2/3 c sweetened coconut

For coconut creme filling
1 pkg (3-1/2oz) Jello instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp coconut extract

For cream cheese frosting
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 – 3 c powdered sugar
1-3 tsp pineapple rum [I use Cruzan]

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the pineapple juice in 2 additions. Fold in the pineapple and coconut.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-3/4 full. Bake for about 20-22 mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the filling and topping.

For the filling, make pudding as directed on the box and add coconut extract.

For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together approximately 3 minutes on medium speed. Add rum and then slowly add powdered sugar, mixing well until desired thickness.

To assemble
Cut out a cone from the top of each cupcake. Fill with as much creme as possible and replace cone (if you aren’t lazy like me, you can trim off a bit of the cone so it sits better but really, once you frost it you can’t tell). Frost. Garnish with toasted coconut (over the stove or at 350 for 5-10 minutes.. watch it closely to prevent burning!).

Rave reviews are sure to come your way if you set these out on the table!

– Sharlene